War in Ukraine: Pope Francis calls for humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol

Pope Francis on Sunday renewed his call for the opening of humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, "barbarically bombarded and destroyed".

“My thoughts are with the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, city of Mary, bombarded and destroyed in a barbaric way. I renew my request for the opening of safe humanitarian corridors,” the pope said during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.

In the port city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine, almost completely destroyed after weeks of siege, a first group of civilians was extracted overnight from Saturday to Sunday from the Azovstal steelworks, the last pocket of the Ukrainian resistance in this city.

Twenty civilians were evacuated, according to the Ukrainian Azov battalion, a first, all previous evacuation attempts having failed.

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense affirmed that two groups of civilians, of 25 and 21 people, had been able to get out of Azovstal, where, according to kyiv, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are buried in underground galleries dating from the Soviet era.

Still on the subject of the war in Ukraine, the sovereign pontiff denounced “a macabre regression of humanity”. “Let's not abdicate in the face of the logic of violence, the perverse spiral of weapons”.

The editorial staff (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock / Vladys Creator

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